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Epic is waiting on Microsoft's next move before bringing Unreal Engine 4 to Windows Phone

Earlier this year, Epic Games surprised many people when they announced that anyone could download and use their latest game graphics engine, Unreal Engine 4, for just $19 a month to make free and commercial projects. While Epic's lead programmer Tim Sweeney already indicated back in April that it would be a while before Unreal Engine 4 would work with Windows Phone and Windows RT devices, a new update from Sweeney indicates we may have an even longer wait that we first thought.

We contacted Sweeney over the weekend and asked him if there had been any progress made on getting Unreal Engine 4 to work on Windows Phone, or if we might have to wait until Windows 10, the next version of the OS, to see that support on smartphones. Sweeney replied:

"It hasn't been a priority compared to iOS/Android so far. Waiting to see where new Microsoft management goes with the platform."

In other words, we don't expect to see Unreal Engine 4 games for Windows Phone 8.1 and that Epic Games looks like it will wait to see if Microsoft will be able to pull off their "One Windows" vision for Windows 10. We already know that Unreal Engine 4 works with DirectX 12, which will be released alongside Windows 10. Hopefully, that will mean that smartphones, along with tablets, laptops and desktops, will be able to run games with Epic's graphics engine if they have Windows 10 as its OS.

88 Comments
  • That's just unreal.
  • This will probably be the case with most developers right now considering the platform is going to drastically change once again.
  • the fans wont acknowledge but thats a fact.
  • And the majority of that 50 odd mil wp devices out there are low end, low memory devices. Not the ue4 market. Perhaps they are privy to more pertinent information re where windows is heading, or how everything will evolve? Windows 10 can't get here soon enough.
  • We need UE4 on Xbox One first.
  • Considering DirectX 12 easily could make its way to Xbox One, it's a good chance we will see UE4 there too.
  • UE4 already supports Xbox One... Fable Legends uses it.
  • You can already publish to Xbox One and PS4 using it....
  • I guess I'm not a priority customer for Epic.
  • Several potatos can't be wrong.
  • "I guess I'm not a priority customer for Epic." Or Microsoft.
  • Goat Simulator runs on the unreal Engine, and I'd like to play it on my Windows Phones. Make it happen!
  • UE4?
  • UE3, I think. On my iPod Touch 5G, I probably wouldn't be able to get it to run if it ran UE4.
  • Always waiting on Microsoft because they change direction so darn often.
  • Or because they could be waiting for DirectX12 and "One Windows" which is the direction they've been going in for some time now.
  • Change direction?
    One Windows has been the direction for some time now or am I wrong? I can't wait to see Windows 10 running on phone, tablet, desktop, and game console. It'll be very interesting to see what developers come up with across those platforms... :)
  • Silverlight (WP7/7.5) to Windows kernel but still using some Silverlight (WP8/WP8.1), to Windows Phone 10 (whatever that ends up being) is pretty drastic to me as a consumer and developer. Not a huge ROI right now, especially considering it is going to change again. I'm sure they want to develop it once, based on Microsoft's promise of Windows 10
  • If you really are a developer, and create universal apps then whats the concern? 10 is likely to be a superset of what we have now, as its currently restricted due to the compatability of Windows and Windows Phone. If 10 is the same API footprint on both Phone and device its gonna be a hell of party :)  
  • Some APIs are only available to WP8.0 Silverlight apps, some only for 8.1 Silverlight apps, and some only  for WinRT (universal) apps. Kind of a pain to try to figure out ways around the limitations, or if it's even possible.
     
  • Guess Epic doesn't care about their customers supporting the nearing 100 million Windows Phone users.  Not good as they are the gateway to unlock tons of games for the platform/their customers. Hopefully Microsoft will wake up to this fact.
  • 100 million? Where did you get that? Last I saw the numbers were 50 million Lumias, which means like 55 million total. Either way, they're not "waking up" to anything. They're just evolving their products to make it easier to develop for, and its been happening for years.
  • Not to mention the majority of these Lumia devices are low-end, and wont benefit a lick from UE4 being present on Windows Phone in the first place. Sure the tech scales well, but that low end wont cut it when it comes to developer adoption for such a graphically intense platform
  • Any sources to backup your "nearing" 100 million WP users claim? Last credible info we got was there were 50 million, quite a way to go to 100 million.
  • Sounds reasonable.
  • Dammit MS, wake up b*****. Games sells phones. Now pull your finger out and get moving on this s***.
  • So they should rush Windows 10 to market? Ok
  • Really, that's what you took from my comment??? I for one am a patient wp user( I owned a Palm pre) no i want ms to release w10 only when its good and ready. And if they are going to keep xbm,xbv and games as they are currently, as apps, then make dam sure the first iteration doesn't leave users screaming blue murder. I rarely use xbm or xbv but use the games app daily. It needs an overhaul, badly. Maybe introduce a carousel for your list of games, when you highlight a game, it's picture becomes the wallpaper for the games app and preview vid is played... I think the ps3 did this.
  • Mmm..awesome You are so patiënt..but why actually? I mean..yes i had wp7.5 then got android (i hated it) then back To wp8, which is awesome, got wp8.1 with Nice features but a lot of bugs as well (imo It's less solid than 8)
    Why the hack are we patiënt?
  • I guess im/we are patient because we see that wp has alot of potential and promise. I for one like innovation and right now ios and droid don't really have that imho. Plus im an addict to the 41MP beast that's my 1020 and now im a spoilt b**** who cant use anything less ;).
  • "Waiting to see where new Microsoft management goes with the platform."
    Sounds exactly like the "If Microsoft gives a duck about Windows, then why should I care about it?"-attitude I always feared developers might adopt.
  • Hey, but as long as Microsoft services are being used, its all good, right? /s
  • Waiting... Waiting... Waiting... In the next version... In the next version... In the next version... Soon... Soon... Soon...
    I think I can make a rap with these...
  • I really don't get that either.
    Microsoft is by far the biggest software company of the world.
    So why is it so hard to develop all the needed functionality and features and DO SO IN A TIMELY MANNER.
    Probably because Windows Phone had too little resources already and obviously Nadella isn't going to change that.
  • Exactly. Weren't epic waiting for Windows Phone 7.5, then 8? So bite test e are at 8.1 and no closer to seeing UE4 in a game, what makes consumers think win 10 will be any different???
  • Nothing will be different...
  • & yet their deprecated engine supports wii u(& probably 3/2ds)
  • Dedicated gaming machines are a whole another thing, until recently Wii U was above XBone in installbase as well. Wii U is also largely an upgraded 360, so it's not like they've had to rewrite all that much.
  • There was a prototype Unreal-Engine running on Windows 8/RT. Why was it never released? On iOS and Android they released the tech-demo ("Epic Citadel").
  • There's a lot depending on Windows 10.
  • Because ir really depends on W10. Development costa are high, supporting múltiple devices will allow los costa.
  • Wouldn't it be easier to turn their back on windows & just support xbox
  • Everything for Windows Phone that really Will make a difference is on hold because of W10 and Xbox and all there work on other platforms. Sad.
    My new years resolution will be "Stop letting my ❤ for Windows Phone get in the way of choosing a phone that I will enjoy." Windows Phone is currently almost dead in the water.
  • +920
  • Ya its a shame but forget games I cant even get a decent banking app..
  • Yeah, this is just another hole in the boat.
  • I just jumped into another 2yr contract with my service provider AT&T. Ended up picking up the HTC One M8 for WP. But, this will probably be my last WP. I figure within the next two years I'll know if things are turning around for this platform or not. I don't care for Andriod or Google as a company and I'd hate to go back to being an iSheep, but what are my choices? 
  • Thats the problem with only large companies to choose from. Should i let Google get all my data and basically support the devil. Or should I chose Apple that almost looks the same as 7 years ago and have there own limiting with ridiculous prices?
    The problem is that the trust for any company dealing with internet is almost completely gone. In that way, internet have turned in to politicians which lost there voters (no matter the side). Microsoft is a weird company to like because they might get great ideas, but they seldom rides it home with a bug free, full featured user experience. And you just know they will at some time change something and remove core/basic stuff for new stuff. Blackberry I have no experience with at all so I couldn't say. Symbian was pretty great but maaaan that OS was slow as ****. Windows Mobile was pretty great ... when it worked.
    I'd say there still is no trule good phone that presents feature rich mobile experiences and doing good for there customers also. Microsoft may be the "best" option, but there changing there models so fast they lost track of what Windows Phone was aiming to be.
  • Well at least they came out and said it outright as opposed to saying nothing at all or trying to hide the message in a wall of text.
  • No surprise, a smart business move by Epic. MS is going the same with office & it's own music apps!   Microsoft's flip-flopping and constant pivoting is too messy. Wait for Mango, wait for 8, wait for 8.1  now it's wait for 10. At least the universal apps carrot is reachable.  
  • and can you explain why Unity Engine is available for WP8 and they didn't have to wait for Windows 10 for that? I am sure you are clueless and you are just talking BS but oh well. can you answer that?
  • Because Unity has a strategic partnership deal with Microsoft (see Build) which is needed to get support for an OS that has poor marketshare and non-unified developer tools (RT, win32, Phone) at present time.   Don't shoot the messenger, hate on Ballmer & Sinofsky for screwing up Windows since the Vista days.
  • and do you think Unity pulled out the Windows Store/Phone publishing for their engine out their butts or with a magic wand? no. that doesn't work like that and it wasn't a press of a button and "ok, now you can develop games to windows, windows phone. and port your games". Unity had to work, no matter if they accepted or not a partnership which has NOTHING to do with the reasons, WHY unity is available and Unreal Engine isn't. and who cares about non unified developer tools? again, even with that Unity still is available for Windows store, phone and desktop. and if you didn't know Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 already share alot of code, not the same, which is why Windows 10 is being worked as a One platform for every device.  but it's not like they are completely different either. so no, again. your reasons and excuses doesn't make it up for Epic games excuse about "I am waiting" the same excuse they have said before.
  • FWIW... business decisions don't always align with what is best for consumers Deal with it (now you know what Mac users felt like since Win95 shipped)
  • so that's your answer because you don't know what you talk about? oh yeah I get it. ^____^ next time don't reply if you don't know what you are talking about, and you have to force a dumb subject into the answer. like I said Unity is available for Windows Phone 8 and Windows Store, and Unity is enough for most game developers on mobile camp, Unity is MORE used than UE for mobile gaming. Unity partnetship gives alot of things to developers if they do it. so why would I feel like Mac users on 1995? because I can't design a game with UE when there are good alternative (s) that already work in WP8? but then again, who is talking about business decisions? you are the one saying "smart business move by Epic" haha please... so having less users it's a smart move? so being kicked by Unity in mobile space is a smart move? you seem not to know much about "smart moves" again, Epic Games could have their engine work for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. they don't want it because they are lazy. don't blame the tools, or Microsoft's decisions when other companies, which are "smaller" like Unity already proved their engine can be available on WP, without "waiting" or making other excuses. Windows 10 won't even change much anyway, it will merge platforms finally, but it's not like Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 didn't already shared code between them. but then again... clueless people like you talk and don't try to research or understand. so who cares ^_________________^, especially if you talk about "business" decisions that sound just like more BS to me ^__^
  • Stop picking on him, Emi. You're being unreasonable and rude.
  • As a previous Indie WP game developer, we had to give up on the platform, when they dumped on XNA.
    Microsoft are churning their platform very two years, it is simply not worth developing for the platform, with such an insignificant market share.
    Windows 10 needs to run Android apps if it Microsoft wants its platform to get back into the Game.
    Even Microsoft is putting Android and iOS first.
  • Running Android apps is exactly what will kill any developer interest in the platform.
  • Yup. Turning it the other way around would be more beneficial (iOS & Android running WP -apps), something like Xamarin, but cheaper (Xamarin pricing isn't too bad if you have big enough returns though).
  • Well the Guy is right, onenote has more features on My crap old android than on My fresh l1520!!
  • Sounds like sound logic to me.
  • Of Course Nobody can trust Nadella...
    That's the worst CEO MS has ever had
    Giving office for free on ios and Android his worst move
    He should be kicked out of MS before he does more damages
    Am i wrong?....
    Doing apps before on ios or giving out office for free produced these results A round of applause to nadella for making only damages!
  • Riiiiight
  • Well Epic seems to have the same strategy as Microsoft (won't bring updated Office/OneNote before W10), sounds jolly good! ^_^ More seriously, this only confirms the procrastination of devs, prefering to see what W10 will bring to the table instead of investing now on 8.1
  • Exactly.
  • I'm not holding my breath (and I'm not about to abandon the eco-system) but I'm hoping that Microsoft is waiting until Windows 10 can be unveiled, properly, to let us all in on the sweeping changes, upgrqades, software-first stuff they have going on. I know I would rather they announce Windows 10 before (at the same time as) new phone hardware, a new Surface or two, Xbox announcements etc. Better to buy a phone w/ Win10 than to get an 8.1 version know and hope the carriers care enough to allow updates. I think people need to get over the whole "MS supports IOS/Android more and that will be the death of them" mentality. This is EXACTLY what Android did in the past, and now that they have a bunch of services people rely on they tend to gravitate toward their OS as well. Almost everyone has a Gmail account, Google is to maps and search what Kleenex is to tissue paper, and Chrome is available across everything. Generally people went to the OS when they realized they use most of their services anyway. MS is hoping to repeat that. Give people apps that work unto themselves on any platform, create an OS that runs them in much better harmony and entice people to make the switch (I assume this will be more evident with Windows 10) 
  • I think you're giving credit where its not due. Google already had the search market, gmail was already popular, youtube was already the #1 place to upload videos so people relied on them before android came along. Microsoft throwing their services at ios and android wont change anything because none of their services will be seen in the same light. ios has facetime, android has hangouts vs skype so MS doesnt win there. bing is woeful everywhere apart from the US and google is still far ahead in search. Office is the only product from Microsoft that is seen as best in class so they  have put it everywhere but nothing says they have to completely ignore their own mobile platform as a byproduct of that.     Its a ridiculous perspective to say that Microsoft having their services on other platforms will somehow magically bring them to WP and Windows when the majority of apps and services people use are either absent or woefully inadequate. And Windows 10 is unlikely to change anything because of precisely that.
  • You realize your first paragraph is exactloy what was said about Android in the early days... Keep in mind Google services became popular because of a) their simplicity and b) their universal availability. Since Google has abandoned that idea, MS wants to pick it up. Regarding the 'lack of support' everyone is mad about, consider that maybe it's better implimented in the next major build, a build that is said to be available to every current device, instead of making a software upgrade half-step and splitting development in half? I for one would rather wait for Windows 10 to get this stuff than to have a stop-gap version get to me now. Maybe they'll work out bugs in the other OSes.
  • I generally agree. However that is no excuse for Microsoft delivering certain features later to their Windows Phone Apps compared to Android/iOS.
  • That's what being stupid and re-booting your OS every 2 years gets you.
  • that's because you are clueless about what you are talking about. Microsoft is not rebooting anything. Microsoft it'st just unifying platforms which is different. Microsoft have stated Windows 10 will run on Windows 8 phones and apps will be mostly compatible with it with no updates just like happened from 7 to 8. where many apps and games worked with no problem. It seems you are the stupid one who talks and don't even know about it. but what can I expect from you? it's been years and you keep talking so much BS... at least make some research and understand what WIndows 10 means for WP users and desktop and tablets. losers like you should learn what they talk about ^________^
  • Epic always says the same things... you know why Unity Engine is being using on mobile and it's taking so much UE clients? because Unity delivers, while UE keep making excuses.... after Unity was available for windows, there was no more limitations and now they support even WP. so yeah I am sure Epic it's just talking crap and "waiting" as an excuse of their lazyness. I never got interested too much with Unity Engine, but they have done pretty good job compared too all these lazy people saying they "wait". Anyway, I think now Unreal Engine it's just like... a big name with no real benefits over competition. so if someone is going to make a Windows Phone game, I would pick up Unity and be happy with it. it's a great engine, not excuses. it supports what it supports. They have a partnership with Microsoft to help developers. and you don't have to deal with Epic or Crytek or other game engines that don't seem to work for the developer and users, or bring anything innovative and all that, they seem just to be selfish and making excuses about why they don't support a platform. Unreal Engine it's like Maya software, big name and it has nice features but other tools can bring your work faster without waiting for dealing with them. of course some people go only with "big names" and they don't try to research but anyway... I really wish more developers use Unity and show Epic Games how not needed it is in 2014 when there are many alternatives out there.   ^___________^ what I mean: http://unity3d.com/pages/windows  
  • "Epic Games looks like it will wait to see if Microsoft will be able to pull off their "One Windows" vision for Windows 10." That's not at all what it sounds like to me. It appears rather that Epic has doubts about Nadella's commitment to WP as a platform. All the technical conveniences (like the "One Windows" vision) are worth nothing if management isn't fully commited to pushing the platform.
  • Thats exactly what I got out of this. Microsoft was not fully commited to WP7 and still is not fully commited to WP8/8.1.
    Microsofts half-hearted approach on supporting their platform and their weird habit of completely scraping their plans and starting from scratch does not make Windows a viable platform for investments.
    As long as Microsoft and/or Nadella do not make it crystal clear, with actions, that they are fully commited to pushing the platform, larger companys and devs won't even think of supporting them. Not in a 100 years.
  • @a5cent and Forc3 can either of you explain how Steve Balmer would have had things in a better place? Nadella has been in charge for less than a year and yet everyone lumps Microsofts entire set of issues squarely on his shoulders. Consider he's now in charge of not flushing years of work down the toilet (stuff that would have already been well underway) and at the same time changing the companies course and reputation. Lets try giving him a minute...  
  • @HalfBlackCanadian:
    You're right that it's to soon to call Nadella's reign at Microsoft a failed one.
    But like 'Forc3' stated: It would be very important to assure tgeur customers with actions, instead of "take my word for it" alone.
    He should at least require all internal developers to not treat Windows as second class. Where is the Sway-app for Windows for example?
  • And on that note: Nadella was referenced as being an "office" guy (meaning the office suite). And that's all he seems to care about loosing everything else out of focus...
    [Windows Central-app doesn't let me edit my comments anymore]
  • "Waiting to see where new Microsoft management goes with the platform" sounds to me like "Waiting to see if Microsoft will pay us to do the port".
  • They're not waiting on shit. They're simply lazy and don't want to bother.
  • Hummm, pull out a chair.
  • If it comes, I want to play it smoothly ;)
  • ANOTHER UNREAL TOURNAMENT PLEASE
  • Can't wait to play the new unreal tournament
  • It's the problem of ever changing APIs. Hopefully MS can offer stability and quality with W10. Even Unity3D isn't doing much development on the platform(s) and is missing some major features. Hopefully this will all change with W10, and maybe by 2017 games will release for all platforms simultaneously.
  • I made a quick search and I found these tools, small or whatever you want to call it, popular and unpopular... whatever. but they work for Windows Phone 8... of course Unity being the most popular one. so I should keep asking why Epic Games feel so special and big they have to give excuses like that? they already said it's because Android and iOS have "huge marketshare", also they have made alot stupid complains "oh but we at Epic Games are disappointed about Microsoft decisions, WinRT closed bla bla Store" (like if iOS didn't work that way) so it's not because they are waiting on Microsoft anything, it's because they don't want to make it available, end. because if smaller teams with less popularity and even free tools, have a way to be used in WP, then it's simple stupid to make excuses like the ones Epic Games gives... windows 10? what will it change so much that they are waiting so much? again, crappy excuses, when they have already said "marketshare" many times. Unity
    Shiva3D
    Marmalade
    V-Play
    GameMaker
    Construct2
    Cocos2d-x
    Rapid2D
    Paradox3D
    SharpDX
    OGRE
  • Until Windows Phone 8 I was able to hope for a better future of the Windows ecosystem too. But since Nadella took the reign, I don't see any reason why Windows 10 should change the game (for good) anymore...
  • Good news for windows 10
  • Considering that mobile games suck, I say good. Screw mobile and go 100% desktop.